MORE should be done to make it harder for betting shops to open, according to Rose Hill councillors and residents.
It comes as plans for a second betting shop have been “called-in” by councillors meaning any decision taking will now have to be done by committee.
Speaking at a Rose Hill Tenants’ Association meeting, Rose Hill Oxford City councillor Michele Paule said: “There are 24 betting shops in Oxford, and most of those are near Rose Hill.
“These are not local companies, but national organisations picking opportunities in certain hotspots.
“We don’t want them in this community.”
And councillors have welcomed the news that there will be a crackdown on opening new betting shops. They will be placed in a new planning category so they will need council permission to open.
Councillors have taken the decision to ‘call in’ Coral Racing Ltd’s application, which means it will be decided by a planning committee, instead of by planning officers.
The application will be listed for the East Area Planning Committee’s information on Thursday, but the committee is not due to discuss the application until June.
Eleanor Watts, who lives in Rose Hill and is chairwoman of Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon, said: “This is an area where a lot of people are in economic difficulties and are under pressure from that.
“Betting shops just encourage people to spend money and trap them.”
Not everyone agrees. Lucy Jane owns the Individual Funeral Company on Rose Hill, and said: “I would rather see more betting shops rather than vacant properties.''
Rose Hill councillor and deputy leader of Oxford City Council Ed Turner said: “I’m pleased that we’re making some progress.
“No one wants to see empty shops so it’s about striking a balance.”